This past Friday, new documents released by the news leak site WikiLeaks revealed that in 2009, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon secretly worked with Israel to undermine the findings of a UN inquiry into war crimes in Gaza.
In early 2009, the UN Board of Inquiry looked into Israeli strikes on Gaza in December of 2008 and January of 2009. Their inquiry found that,
“Israeli Defense Force (IDF) targeted UN buildings in Gaza Strip in seven of the nine attacks.”
The report also added that Israel had,
“breached the inviolability and immunity of UN premises”.
The inquiry recommended that an impartial probe be launched to investigate the bombing of the UN facilities. But for some reason, this suggestion was never presented to the United Nations Security Council. Now it would seem we know why.
Following the UN inquiry, Ban Ki-Moon met and spoke with U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice on a number of occasions.
In their first meeting, Rice strongly urged the UN Secretary-General not to include the inquiry’s recommendations in the final report summary. However, Ban informed her that he couldn’t alter the report or its recommendations since the UN Board of Inquiry was an independent body.
But while Ban Ki-Moon couldn’t actually alter the inquiry report, he did get to write a cover letter to go along with it. So, in their second meeting, Rice urged him to,
“…make clear in his cover letter when he transmits the summary to the Security Council that those recommendations exceeded the scope of the terms of reference and no further action is needed”
Ban told Rice that his staff was,
“working with an Israeli delegation on the text of the cover letter”.
After the letter was finalized, Ban called Rice to tell her that he believed they had drafted a “satisfactory cover letter”. In this cover letter, Ban asked members of the UN Security Council to,
“not to take into account the report submitted by the UN Board of Inquiry that accused Israel of targeting UN buildings in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.”
At the end of their conversation, Rice thanked Ban for his, “exceptional efforts on such a sensitive issue.”
Check out the full transcripts of the leaked documents from WikiLeaks here.